THE article in the Chronicle (December 21): "Rocks switch exposes Kai Iwi headland", offers a biased, inaccurate picture regarding the moving of rocks on the southeastern point of Kai Iwi Beach.

The inference is that the rocks' removal will cause the headland to become a "stack" as land between the headland and the mainland erodes.

The fort on the headland was dynamited and fell to the beach beside the cliff during the late 50s or early 60s. The cliffs were steadily eroding and it was thought sensible to drop the fort before it fell by itself, risking the life of anyone below.

The rocks were later placed around the cliff base to protect from further erosion. Unfortunately they were placed on the sand, not the underlying papa. As that eroded from under them they sank, allowing waves to break over them to the foot of the cliff and erosion to continue.

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The erosion causing the headland to become a stack is occurring 20-30m inland from the place where the boulders were removed.

It is caused by the Mowhanau Stream washing against the cliff base on the north side and the sea breaking on the south. A tunnel will form, then a roof collapse will isolate the stack from the point. The removal of the boulders has no bearing on this.

The article is correct in saying some little black mussels have died, but to describe them as a food source for Māori or anyone else is ridiculous. They grow to a maximum of about 2cm long and no one would bother trying to collect enough for a meal. I would suggest anyone wishing to do so looks at the fort, which still has a thriving colony.

Certainly, when the point becomes a stack the dynamics of the beach will alter, a process that has continued for millennia. A walk a couple of kilometres towards Castlecliff will show other examples of this occurring over the past few years.

SHAUN FORLONG
Mowhanau

(Abridged — Editor)


Rip van Winkle moment

I woke up on Saturday, turned on TV only to see adverts for Boxing Day sales. Had I done a Rip van Winkle and slept past Christmas Day? No, it still was two days to go, and I would not miss my visit from Santa.

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I worry now that Easter too might come unexpectedly and no Easter Bunny.

EDWINA DOVE
Whanganui


Oak tree dilemma

Well grown, much loved specimen oak trees are a joy to behold.

In her enthusiasm to showcase our fair city's oak trees, I wonder if Rachel Rose visited the trees behind my property.

In Burnett Reserve, accessible from Halswell St, she would find 14 oak trees in an area smaller than the cross-leased section my house sits on.

These trees are strong and well grown. In fact they are so high they completely block any sunlight from myself and my neighbours through autumn and most of winter.

A theory offered as to why there are so many in such a small space is that they were surplus when Halswell St was being planted and were heeled in as a temporary measure.
Maybe they are 100 years old. But if any one of them falls in a storm they will certainly take out my or my neighbour's home and possibly kill us!

Ho hum, the council says.

JEAN McDAVITT
Whanganui


Reversing rent hikes

After quite a few letters to different media outlets about the consequences of skyrocketing property prices, the Chron's headlines are finally reporting it.

Skyrocketing property prices mean almost everyone is worse off, but those at the bottom who are trapped renting are hammered worse than most.

The only people benefiting from increasing property prices are property investors. I would hazard a guess that most in Whanganui are from out of town, likely Auckland.

These investors are nothing more than parasites, preying on the vulnerable and, worse, subsidised by the taxpayer as their client base are forced to go to Winz to ask for an accommodation supplement so they can afford the exorbitant rent.

Our Government, currently doing more than past ones, has still not done the simplest thing to protect the vulnerable — rent controls.

On its own this will not be enough. They will also have to prevent properties being held empty, as well as meeting minimum standards. Combined this would likely result in a significant fall in property prices, reversing the current trends, and benefiting those who most need it.

There will be squeals of pain but they will be from private money, and as this has been primarily gained by shafting the vulnerable, who cares?

MURRAY SHAW
Whanganui


Send your letters to: The Editor, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email editor@wanganuichronicle.co.nz